In the round-up: McLaren SP expect to extend IndyCar race-winner Pato O’Ward’s contract in the near future.
New McLaren deal close for O’Ward
McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown said an agreement for Pato O’Ward’s future with the team in IndyCar was “imminent” and that “we’re going to be together for many more years.”
O’Ward took his first win of the season for the team at the last round in Alabama. “He did an awesome job in Barber and he’s now a McLaren driver and it’s up to him and Andreas [Seidl] to decide on the Formula 1 side what the opportunities for testing may be.”
Having tested McLaren’s MCL35M in Abu Dhabi last year, O’Ward is one of several drivers under consideration to drive for the F1 team in the two obligatory free practice session outings for rookies later this year.
“There’s a note from F1 that said this year, they’re obliged by the regulations to test young drivers two times in free practice and that’s why we have kind of a selection process in place, whom we actually want to give the chance to be in the car for these two or three practice sessions,” said Seidl in response to a question from RaceFans.
“In order to make the selection we have now this year for the possibility to use the TPC [Testing of Previous Cars] because to give young guys a chance to show what they can do in a Formula 1 car and time in order to prepare them as good as possible for this testing. And then we will make up our mind who in the end gets the free practice sessions.”
McLaren fifth-fastest team after Miami – Norris
McLaren’s Lando Norris believes the team to be fifth-fastest, behind Mercedes and Alfa Romeo as well as the two top teams of Ferrari and Red Bull.
Norris admitted that it was “tough to know exactly what we’re going to do from this weekend,” in terms of developing McLaren’s car before Barcelona. But that “We’re behind Mercedes, behind Alfa Romeo but we really could fight with Alpine and AlphaTauri. Haas are there or thereabouts with us, as well.
“It’s close, so I think that puts us around fifth fastest,” Norris continued. “I think we have a decent pace. We just need a little bit more to be able to take the fight to Mercedes and the guys ahead.”
Mercedes explain tire heat management improvement over a stint
Mercedes technical director Mike Elliott has explained why overheating was worse at the start of Lewis Hamilton’s hard tire stint than it was at the end of the Miami Grand Prix.
“The majority of the heat that goes into the tires comes from what is called hysteretic heating,” Elliott said in a video released by the team. “It comes from the fact that the rubber is constantly deflecting and bending and that sort of constant movement on the non-linear rubber means it adds heat and that hysteretic heat is being added all the time.
“But what happens is, as the tires goes through the stint, they wear and as they wear, the gauge of the tire gets smaller and smaller and as the tire gets smaller and smaller in that gauge you get less of this hysteretic heating because it is just less rubber moving.
“So, what happened is that at the start of the stint the tires were at their hottest and as the stint wears on and the tires wear you get less and less heat input in the tire and the tire temperature comes down and becomes more manageable. ”
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